You can find some credit cards with instant approval virtually everywhere these days. The most common resource is the Internet because there is a multitude of websites offering instant approval. In fact, this is one of their main selling features.
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Before you begin looking online, you should be aware of the difference between instant approval and an instant decision; many people confuse these two. Receiving an instant approval on a credit card is something that is generally reserved for people with good to excellent credit scores; it is a convenience and takes approximately 60 seconds or less.
Instant decisions take approximately the same time, but do not necessarily result in an offer from the credit card companies. You need to know your credit score before you apply for any type of credit, but you should be especially careful with online offers because they can become quite damaging if you continue to apply. After all, multiple inquiries can have adverse affects on your credit report.
Checking Your Credit Report
You should check your credit at least once every 12 months; more if your credit history is compromised due to something like identity theft.
Some people are more susceptible to intrusions and must take more precautions.
The Federal government has established a free website called AnnualCreditReport.com which allows you to receive your credit report free of charge each year. Start with this resource. Access the site and select your state. You will be directed to a simple application form that can be completed in less than 60 seconds. Submit your information and your credit report appears almost instantly.
Not only does this site provide you with a free credit report, but also you can also review the FAQ or frequently asked questions tab and learn information that is even more valuable. If you are the victim of fraud, you can use this same page to report your concerns. You can also go directly to one of the three credit bureaus, like Experian and find a number of ways to apply their useful and practical knowledge.
Credit Score Versus Credit Report
Your credit score and credit report are equally important because your credit score is determined by the information in your credit report. In other words, your credit report contains the data, like your personal information, type of credit and length of credit history. It shows how you pay your bills and includes any negative reports from vendors.
You also have the opportunity to review the number of inquiries that credit card companies, mortgage brokers or any other lending institution makes. If you have ever filed for bankruptcy or had judgments from the courts placed against you, this will show on your credit report as well.
Your credit score is the number assigned to you after all of your information is taken into consideration. If you have a poor credit history, chances are, your credit score will also be very low. A low credit score sends a signal to the lender that you are a high risk. They have the option of accepting your request, and assigning a high interest or finance charge, or denying the request altogether.
Receiving Notices in the Mail
According to the Federal Reserve you will receive a notice in the mail if you were denied a credit card because of your current credit score. The letter will include your credit score so you have the opportunity to review their information and match it with yours. If there are errors, report them to the three credit bureaus immediately.
You can also expect to see a letter arrive if the credit card application was accepted, but with different terms than you expected, usually a higher interest rate or finance charges. Other fees may also apply.
If you already have credit and your Annual Percentage Rate is suddenly increased because of your current credit score, you will be notified by mail.
Always educate yourself with the tools you need before you take a step towards credit cards. They are a useful resource to have at your disposal, but can easily spiral out of control if not managed closely. The best defense against credit card debt is making wise decisions. If you are approved instantly, remember, you still have options. Read your terms and contract agreement before you oblige yourself to anything.
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